Reaching for the Sky – Mathematics in Art – Part 2

Megalithic Temple, Malta, c. 3000 -700 BCE

“Since ancient times artists and architects have seen in the golden mean the most aesthetically satisfying geometric ratio.” 

 Stephen M. Barr

The Pyramids, Egypt, c.2630 BCE

“Geometry has two great treasures: one is the Theorem of Pythagoras; the other, the division of a line into extreme and mean ratio. The first we may compare to a measure of gold; the second we may name a precious jewel.”

Johannes Kepler

The Parthenon, Greece, c. 438 BCE, Image © THINKSTOCK

Previously I offered a brief overview of the role that Phi (Φ) supposedly plays in relation to form and the understanding of creating images. 

Al Khazneh, Petra, Jordan, c. 100 ACE

Frequently some commentators imply that following such a set of mathematical rules is all that is necessary to imbibe the creative process with harmonious elements and can be applied in all circumstances and disciplines.

Leshan Giant Buddha,China, c.713-803 ACE, Image © THINKSTOCK

“The good is always beautiful, and the beautiful never lacks proportion.”

Plato

Sacsaywaman, Peru, c.900-1200 ACE

Many, whether they are artists, architects, musicians or in other creative fields have endeavoured to apply such a concept to their philosophy and thinking as an integral element in their attempts to create a form that is both “beautiful” and harmonious. 

Borobudur, Indonesia, c. 825 ACE, Image © THINKSTOCK

If the ancient architects deliberately included specific mathematical ratios and shapes in their structures it may have had nothing to do with aesthetics, but with a desire to achieve some mystical harmony with nature rather than an aesthetic goal. 

Machu Picchu, Peru, c. 1450 ACE

“[The universe] cannot be read until we have learnt the language and become familiar with the characters in which it is written.”

Galileo Galilei

Taj Mahal, India, 1632

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.”

Albert Einstein

Sagrada Família, Barcelona, Spain, 1882 – to date

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Image Credit © Megalithic Temple, Malta, c. 3000 -700 BCE

Source Credithttps://www.readersdigest.ca/travel/world/10-architectural-wonders-ancient-world/

Image Credit © The Pyramids, Egypt, c.2630 BCE

Source Credithttps://www.readersdigest.ca/travel/world/10-architectural-wonders-ancient-world/

Image Credit The Parthenon, Greece, c. 438 BCE, Image © THINKSTOCK

Source Credithttps://www.readersdigest.ca/travel/world/10-architectural-wonders-ancient-world/

Image Credit © Al Khazneh, Petra, Jordan, c. 100 ACE

Source Credithttps://www.readersdigest.ca/travel/world/10-architectural-wonders-ancient-world/

Image Credit © Leshan Giant Buddha,China, c.713-803 ACE, Image © THINKSTOCK

Source Credithttps://www.readersdigest.ca/travel/world/10-architectural-wonders-ancient-world/

Image Credit © Sacsaywaman, Peru, c.900-1200 ACE

Source Credithttps://www.readersdigest.ca/travel/world/10-architectural-wonders-ancient-world/

Image Credit © Machu Picchu, Peru, c. 1450 ACE

Source Credithttp://www.arthistoryarchive.com/arthistory/architecture/images/Machu-Picchu.jpg

Image Credit © Taj Mahal, India, 1632

Source Credithttps://ancientworldwonders.com/uploads/posts/Taj_Mahal/3_Taj_Mahal.jpg

Image Credit © Sagrada Família, Barcelona, Spain, 1882 – to date

Source Credithttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagrada_Fam%C3%ADlia

Without Words 71

IMGP3378aWOWFBO

Goff James, Without Words 71, 2018

Exp 1/1000, f/22, ISO 3200, FL 18.00mm

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